Michael Hobbs has posted about the three remodeling trends for the coming decade. He writes about the trends that the members of National Association of Home Builders are seeing now. This is important advice that we can pass along to our clients who are planning to remodel their home.
The National Association of Home Builders' Remodeling Market Index indicates what a number of contractors and homeowners already know, remodeling is increasing. Most recently, the index hit a five-year high in the fourth quarter.
Given the current economic conditions, the depressed housing market and the reset of expectations about how long an owner will occupy a house, decisions are definitely financially motivated. Here are 3 trends for the decade:
Contractors, builders and remodelers are finding more demand for in-law apartments (typically called mother-in-law suites for the typically experience that mom moves in to the house...but she may not be alone) as part of new additions or basement makeovers. Granted, we are in the beginning of the first wave of baby boomers reaching their golden years. So, families are having to deal with long-term care options and creative solution is to in-source the responsibility instead of outsource it. For some families, the in-sourcing option is a lower-cost option (provided they can handle the level of care needed) than outsourcing to assisted-living or nursing-home care facilities.
Per the National Association of Home Builders, 62% of builders were working on a home improvement project related to aging in 2010. Additionally, nearly 1 in 5 builders added an entry-level bedroom.
And don't think that only the mother-in-law suite is used for mom...as many parents know, the tough economy has brought 'junior' back home from college since they apparently cannot afford to live on their own.
It seemed that the prior decade brought stainless steel appliances to many areas of the house, including the outdoor patio and deck. In many cases, the easy-money times of the prior decade led to luxury outdoor living — expensive natural stone hardscapes, gourmet grilling kitchens and major electrical upgrades. Of course, this housing decline has definitely put a dent in that type of remodeling, but people still like to entertain and they like to be outdoors when the weather is pleasant. In fact, investing in outdoor living spaces has been a major part of even budget-minded upgrades within existing home footprints. Consumers have scaled back their projects, but they haven't stopped improving their outdoor entertainment space for a 'garden oasis' and even family time. Think about it, if you have to do a staycation, why not enjoy your play time at home.
Smart Kitchens & Larger Family Gathering Space
We are not yet at the point that kitchen does the cooking for you, but it can mean that you spend less time doing what you need to do. We all agree that the past decade got everyone familiar with granite, chef-quality appliances, and custom cabinets to name a few. As with many trends, the penetration has gained such traction that people now what their kitchen to be more customized to their needs and not look like their neighbors place. A couple areas of individual appeal are functional pantries and utility rooms that allow for organization and tidyness. And since the kitchen is regularly where people gather, larger eating and family room areas continue to increase in importance. Kitchens are and will continue to look less like a work area and more like an extension of the living area.
So, don't be surprised when your next buyer turns down your listing because the kitchen is so small and the backyard looks like no one ever spent any time there.
Michael Hobbs, PahRoo Appraisal & Consultancy